Bowhunting Apparel: What to Stock — and Why

With more features targeted toward application-specific performance than ever before, 2019’s hunting apparel lineup offers something for every bowhunting customer. Check it out!

Bowhunting Apparel: What to Stock — and Why

For many brick-and-mortar archery shops, offering hunting apparel can be risky. Box stores sell the lion’s share of it, simply because they have the ability to stock a broad assortment of several manufacturers’ lines. Few pro shops can risk bringing in such expansive offerings. That’s why many consumers head for larger sporting-goods retailers where they can try on several different types of jackets and pants before settling on a set.

Besides large sporting-goods retailers, pro shops face another major challenge: direct-to-consumer apparel companies, which distribute their apparel directly to consumers via their websites. I’m not knocking these companies; some make outstanding apparel. It’s just that their business models make them competitors, rather than partners with pro shops.

But, rather than scrap camo clothing altogether, consider it a David-versus-Goliath battle. Don’t focus on your disadvantages, but your advantages. You can have a piece of the pie, too. Your advantage is that you also sell archery and other bowhunting equipment. Offering bowhunting apparel provides value to the one-stop consumer.

You also have another advantage, the ability to cultivate and maintain customer relationships. And when you win their trust, they’ll do most of their bowhunting business with you, apparel included.

Premonitions of Offering Apparel

Now that you know I’m advocating for pro shops to offer camo clothing, I’d suggest beginning on the light side. Rather than bring in all the heavily-advertised brands, consider starting with one manufacturer who produces apparel you believe in and that offers functionality and craftsmanship for your consumers. If you bring in cheap stuff, it probably won’t sell because folks can buy it anywhere. Quality apparel will make you stand out.

Sure, the initial investment of bringing in options from a high-end manufacturer like Sitka Gear is expensive, but it’ll help bolster your pro-shop look and imply that you sell quality merchandise, not junk. It’s food for thought.

Now that we’ve laid the foundation, let’s review several outstanding apparel companies and their latest apparel.

Sitka Gear

I started using Sitka Gear (877-748-5247; quite heavily in 2013. All of the initial garments I tested were well-crafted, but some had noisy fabrics or picked up excessive burrs. However, the athletic cuts provided astounding mobility. I knew the company had a good thing going, and with improvements, could gain a strong following.

I took a chance and provided my brutally-honest feedback. And Sitka listened! I love a company that tunes its ears to what field testers say after using products under real hunting conditions.

Today, Sitka Gear offers an overwhelming number of garments for all things outdoors. More pointedly, it designs each garment for an intended purpose. If you encounter downpour conditions while hunting moose in Alaska, Sitka has garments for that. If you’re snaking across the cactus-laden deserts in pursuit of pronghorns, it has garments for that. Hunting whitetails from treestands? Yep, it has systems for that, too.

When Sitka Gear launched the initial Fanatic Series, I wore it extensively for both whitetail and mule deer hunting. I first noticed it was exceptionally warm. However, I took notes and provided them to the Sitka crew at the 2018 ATA Show in Indianapolis. Again, they welcomed my feedback, and I’m sure other field testers gave their input, too. One year later at this year’s ATA Show, Sitka reintroduced the Fanatic Series, which now flaunts many of the tweaks and changes I suggested. Awesome!

Extensive testing proves that the new Fanatic System reduces the audible-engagement distance for treestand hunters by 50 percent using ultra-quiet fabrics paired with Gore-Tex Infinium and Windstopper technologies. Team Sitka didn’t stop there. The redesigned Fanatic System is also warmer than ever. The garments pockets were relocated to reduce bulk. New body-mapping increased warmth and mobility. Zippers were updated to reduce noise when layering or venting. Additionally, the jacket’s patent-pending Constant Connect Safety Harness Port allows hunters to easily adjust layers while keeping safely connected to trees. The Fanatic Jacket ($449; above) is now offered in left- and right-handed configurations. The Fanatic Bib ($439; below) features new burr-resistant fabric to drastically reduce burr pickup without sacrificing noise reduction. The upgraded Fanatic Vest ($279) offers additional layering options.

How to Become a Sitka Gear Dealer

  • Dealers must contact Sitka Gear’s dealer-services department.
  • The phone number is (877) 748-5264 and the e-mail address is
  • The dealer-services department will connect you with a regional sales representative who can guide you through the approval process and provide information on minimum orders and other criteria.

Nexus Outdoors (ScentLok and Blocker Outdoors)

I bow-killed my largest buck ever while wearing a ScentLok (844-257-9505; Velocity Full-Season Jacket and Pant back in 2014. I found the suit to be quiet, warm and unrestricting. I’m sure I’m not alone.

ScentLok continues innovating each year. The brand offers complete layering systems designed for various climates, accessories, ozone generators and scent-tight clothing storage. It also offers women’s-specific products to outfit that ever-growing market category.

New on the scene is the hooded BE: 1 Fortress Parka ($300-309; above), which is designed to buck the chill when the mercury plummets. Time-tested Carbon Alloy technology maximizes odor adsorption, while waterproof yet breathable properties seal out the elements and manage moisture inside the warm coat. The Fortress is thermal-mapped with Thinsulate to keep the hunter toasty. The concealed safety-harness port means a harness can be worn underneath the coat, minimizing restriction and reducing bulk. Articulated elbows optimize range of motion, and 10 pockets provide ample storage for calls or other small accessories. True Timber O2 Whitetail camo rounds out the Fortress and the Fortress Bib ($300-309), which offers similar features.

Also doing business under the Nexus umbrella is Blocker Outdoors (231-244-1780;, which was formerly ScentBlocker. Nexus Outdoors acquired the brand in 2017. Like ScentLok, Blocker Outdoors’ apparel runs the gamut, providing solutions for all applications.

The Adrenaline Jacket ($180; above) bridges the gap between quality and affordability. The deadly-quiet, ultra-soft fleece is bonded to a micro-grid merino wool fleece lining, delivering warmth and outstanding comfort with zero bulk. Available in men’s sizes medium through 3X, the Adrenaline features Cold Fusion Catalyst to adsorb odors. The tapered sleeves reduce the possibility of bowstring slap and provide unrestricted movement while maneuvering and drawing a bow from awkward positions. The adjustable waist provides a positive fit and reduces warm-air leakage, keeping bowhunters warm through chilly sits. Four pockets provide ample storage with convenient access, and the Adrenaline Pant ($180) makes the perfect match.

How to Become a Nexus Outdoors Dealer

  • You must have a storefront; Nexus Outdoors requires stores have an actual physical presence in order to qualify for dealer status and pricing.
  • A minimum order is $250 for new dealers.
  • Nexus doesn’t drop ship, so dealers must maintain their own inventory of goods.
  • Minimum-order requirements ($2,000) and credit-establishment criteria must be met prior to setting up payment terms with new dealers. 
  • Dealers who don’t qualify for payment terms but meet other requirements for becoming a dealer can purchase via credit card or COD terms. Nexus Outdoors’ accounting department does not extend open terms to businesses less than 1 year old.


Nomad (800-226-7956; came in strong to the hunting-apparel scene several years ago, even partnering with the likes of Drury Outdoors, Heartland Bowhunter and the NWTF — among others — thus solidifying its place in the industry. In Nomad’s lineup, you’ll find garments designed specifically for hunting whitetails, big game and turkey. It also has a popular lifestyle clothing line.

Nomad’s Cottonwood Series, which includes the 1/2 Zip ($180; above), is designed to be the ultimate fleece hunting system. Berber fleece, which makes up the Cottonwood’s exterior, is deadly quiet. Nomad backs it with a windproof membrane to create the ultimate outer shell for a killer comfort/silence combination. The windproof Cottonwood jacket and pant can be worn alone during early season, or over the heat-trapping Cottonwood base layers when temperatures drop. Articulated sleeves and a Sherpa fleece three-piece hood enhance mobility and provide additional shielding from the elements. A safety-harness port lets hunters wear a safety harness underneath to eliminate encumberment. The Cottonwood Pant ($180) also features ultra-silent Berber fleece, making it the 1/2 Zip’s silent partner. A gusseted crotch with a zippered vent allows heat to escape. The Ever-Adjust elastic waist and removeable elastic bib provide a sound fit, and the articulated knee patch optimizes range of motion. Moisture-wicking properties and a windproof lining enhance comfort.

How to Become a Nomad Dealer

  • Prospective dealers must contact Marolina Outdoor to get connected with a regional sales representative.
  • Once approved by the rep, the account must complete a credit application, MAP and Internet Policy agreement and provide a copy of their resale tax certificate.
  • Once submitted, Marolina will do one final approval process internally, which takes 24-48 hours from the time received.
  • Dealers may then begin ordering upon approval.

Other Notable Bowhunting Apparel

The time-honored Browning (800-333-3288; Buckmark is synonymous with quality, and the Browning Hell’s Canyon Speed Backcountry FM Gore Windstopper Jacket ($230; above) epitomizes quality and performance. The “FM” stands for fast and mobile — the Backcountry won’t slow you down or restrict movement, delivering quality and comfort. Three-layer Windstopper technology makes the garment totally windproof for long-lasting comfort in unrelenting conditions. Harness Access and Hero Fit are other notable technologies that fortify the bowhunting experience. Two exclusive A-TACS Camo patterns are available for varying habitat, as well as a charcoal color tailored for ground-blind hunting. Browning makes the complementing Backcountry Pant ($200) with similar features, plus knee-high zippers make it easy to put on and take off. A full-length crotch panel enhances mobility needed to take long strides or climb into a treestand. Finally, anatomical knee darts improve articulation.

The Njord Collection by Kryptek (855-717-9104; includes the Njord Jacket ($170; above), Vest ($100) and Pant ($130). All three garments are extremely quiet and warm. Designed to be 100 percent windproof and highly water-resistant, Njord garments are created with Kryptek’s specially bonded, super-quiet brushed tricot with a warm, high-pile backer to supplement warmth. Using a 10/10 lamination between the two layers to keep the wind and water out while managing odor production and keeping you comfortable during the late season, the Njord line of garments are rigidly designed and make excellent choices for the most dedicated hunters.

Rocky (740-753-9100; was long — and continues to be — known as a leading boot company. And its hunting apparel is gaining serious traction in a competitive market category. Plus, it has its own unique Venator camo pattern. For 2019, Rocky bolsters its venerable Stratum line with the Stratum All-Season Jacket ($130; above) and Pant ($120). Valuable features are Rocky’s ScentIQ technology and Guaranteed Waterproof Construction. The pair are perfect as outerwear for early season or as a waterproofing layer during colder conditions. The jacket has a safety-harness slot and a detachable drawstring hood for protection against the elements. The pants have six pockets, a knee-length side zipper and a stretchy waistband that allows a positive fit, even when layering. Silent Hunter Suede fabric is quiet, comfortable and non-restricting.

Elevate your hunting experience with Badlands’ (800-269-1875; Ascend Jacket ($159.99; above) and Pant ($149.99). This combo is designed to keep you comfortable throughout the hunt, thanks to leading features like wind-resistant Badlands Approach FX Fleece, Water Repellent Technology and Nano C6 DWR coating. When treestand hunting, conveniently wear your safety harness underneath the jacket and feed the tether through the exit port. Badlands’ Legendary Lifetime warranty instills piece of mind that when your customers buy the Ascend system, they’re getting quality that Badlands stands behind.

Sidebar: Just for Kicks

Irish Setter’s (888-738-8370; Ravine Men’s 9-inch ($189.99; above) boot combines rugged durability with highly attractive craftsmanship. Its Anti-Torsion Chassis is designed for comfort, support and traction. The five-layered system includes a dual-density midsole and enerG high-rebound EVA for superior comfort, and a multi-tiered lug increases traction in steep or otherwise dicey terrain. Trout Brook Leather holds its own against abrasion. The USA-made Ravine features UltraDry waterproofing, and Armatec adds protection in key areas. The Ravine weighs just 3 pounds, 10 ounces. A removable memory-foam footbed with ScentBan odor inhibitor makes drying the boot a simple task and keeps the interior fresh. 

Backcountry hunters will love the rigid construction of Danner’s (888-823-8842; Thorofare ($500; above), a boot designed to take hardcore hunters where they need to go to be successful on elk or sheep hunts in the most demanding terrain. It is 100 percent waterproof and features breathable GORE-TEX liners. A full-grain leather upper and rubberized lower rim deliver unstoppable abrasion resistance, meaning these boots are up to the toughest tasks. A Vibram Tsavo outsole provides superior traction, and the Dynamic Response System delivers a springboard return, even in cold weather. A dual-density midsole absorbs shock to keep your feet comfortable through the rigorous knocks and jars of a demanding hunt. Made in the USA, this is a serious boot for serious hunters.


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